March 20-24, 2011 Dr. Scott Perkins along with several Barnet Dulaney Perkins employees traveled to Toyos, Honduras for a Cataract Surgical Mission with the non-profit organization AZ Visionaries (www.azvisionaries.org) .The members of the team included Amber Gearhart, RN Assistant Director of Nursing; Kim Nichols, RN, Phoenix Surgery Center Manager; Sarah Walczak, Ophthalmic Scrub Technician and Michelle Minta, Nurse Anesthetist and founder of AZ Visionaries.
“We had the honor of serving a small group of Hondurans who were too poor to pay for needed cataract surgery, despite being legally blind. The team that went with me donated their time and worked tirelessly to make this cataract mission a success. All of us in the group participated for different reasons. To me the reason doesn’t matter, just actively pursuing the desire to help less fortunate fellow humans is a gift we can give to others. The patients we served expressed sincere gratitude for the cataract surgeries we performed and that was the greatest gift we got in return”. Scott Perkins, MD
The team traveled out of Phoenix at 12:00am on March 20th and arrived in San Pedro Sula, Honduras at noon on the 21st. All the surgical supplies including the microscope and phaco-emulsification machine (for cataract removal) traveled with the team as checked baggage on the airplane. The team then set up the operating room after unpacking the 20+ boxes of supplies and equipment. They began operating on Monday the 21st and performed 42 total cataract surgeries in the 2 ½ days of operating.
Most of the surgical supplies were donated by Alcon Surgical. The surgical representative from Alcon, Mathew Greer, assisted in getting the supplies donated and also proved to be an essential team member of the surgical mission. All 42 cataract surgeries were performed by Dr. Scott Perkins. A large percentage of the patients had “hand motion” or “count fingers” vision and were blind from their cataracts. The patients went from being blind one day to seeing their family member’s faces for the first time in years. It was a very successful and rewarding trip for all involved.
If you would like more information or would like to donate to the non-profit organization please visit www.azvisionaries.org to make your tax deductible donations. 100% of proceeds from donations go toward their efforts to vision preservation for the poor and underserved.